Larry Grayson

Shut that Door!

Larry Grayson and Noele Gordon at Ross On Wye

In the years since Mr Television, Val Parnell, walked out on me I have never met anyone to replace him.

But this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the company of many good men friends in my social life away from the studios. Comedian Larry Grayson’s name has been linked with mine for years.  Talk of him being in love with me started when I was featured on This Is Your Life.

Thames Television had secretly contacted Larry at the Wakefield Theatre Club and asked him to be a surprise guest at the end of the programme.  He agreed, provided he could get back to Wakefield in time to go on stage later that night. When he appeared beside me I couldn’t believe he’d come all that way just for a couple of minutes on TV with me.  That’s when our ‘romance’ was born.

“Noele I do love you,” he said as he walked on.  I knew he was joking and I carried on in the same vein.  “I keep asking him to marry me, but he won’t,” I explained to the viewers. Larry’s answer was gallant and to the point.  “I will then,” he said.  What else could he say?  So I carried on joking.  “Remember, you’ve said it now, and millions of viewers have heard you too,” I told him.

Oh dear, what had he begun?  Congratulatory telegrams, flowers, phone calls, a stack of lovely engagement cards, and wishing me every happiness all flowed in.

Wherever Larry went he was asked the date of the wedding.  I suppose it was naughty of us both to have joked about getting married in the first place, but it all seemed innocent enough at the time.  Neither of us realised so many people would take it seriously.

We’re still great friends – even if we aren’t engaged.  I don’t mind in the least that he makes jokes about me.  He always gets a big laugh when he announces,  “I’m so ill.  Everard told me to see my doctor.  He was very reassuring.  Everything is in perfect order.”

Then he adds,  “Noele Gordon will be pleased.”  He waits for the laughs and says, “She’ll murder me.” Perhaps now that I’m leaving Crossroads I can realise an ambition – to be in a TV comedy series with him.

From a series written by Noele for the NotW in 1981.